Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2017

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Boulder City Council votes to challenge ballot questions

Dave Olsen

Dave Olsen

The Boulder City Council voted on Tuesday to accept the city attorney’s recommendation to challenge in District Court two ballot questions approved by voters on Election Day.

Mayor Roger Tobler and Councilmen Duncan McCoy and Cam Walker approved the recommendation, while Councilman Travis Chandler opposed it. Councilwoman Linda Strickland abstained because she has represented the questions’ petitioners in another case.

The ballot questions voters passed call for a special election if the city wants to incur debt of $1 million or more and limit the terms of appointed committee members to 12 years.

The questions were approved by votes of 58 percent to 42 percent and 60 percent to 40 percent, respectively.

City Attorney Dave Olsen recommended in August that the City Council allow him to attempt to block the questions from appearing on the ballot. At the time, the council decided to wait for the vote.

Olsen plans to hire Paul Larsen of the firm Lionel, Sawyer and Collins to handle the litigation.

Larsen also tried to have a question regarding the city’s two golf courses removed from the ballot on Olsen’s behalf.

Larsen, who charges $450 an hour, has been paid $35,000 thus far to litigate that case, Councilman Travis Chandler reported on Tuesday.

Olsen said he would work with Larsen to minimize costs to the city, as much of the legwork has been done.

Olsen and Larsen have argued that the ballot questions did not properly explain their impact and limit the council’s ability to make discretionary administrative decisions.

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